The House of Youth on the edge of Benckiserpark is located not far from the city center. The single- story building is based on the foundation walls of the old vaulted cellars of the historic Villa Ben- ckiser. In 2016, the task was to modernize and expand the almost seventy-year-old house.
The park was not to be reduced in size, so an addition of another floor to the existing building was the solution. For this purpose a kind of steel table was placed on top of the existing building, with its legs piercing the roof and standing stably on new point foundations that were elaborately inserted between the old foundations. Low-cost prefabricated elements were erected on this table to form the extension on the new second floor. Along a long, light-flooded white corridor, the offices are lined up, as well as rooms that can be used flexibly thanks to the same footprints. Mirrors on the walls, ceiling heights and room layout make it clear that many different activities are possible, from yoga to playing consoles together to expressive dancing.
The ground floor forms the heart of the house. The central room, stretched long from north to south and generously lit on both its long sides, is structured by a stage. It functions as a connecting element in both directions just as it can be closed in one direction. The result is either a small or a large hall with a classical stage configuration. The stage finds its counterpart in the spacious counter furniture on the north side of the hall, which offers storage space as well as the necessary gallery for the stage equipment.
In the south of the building, there are rooms for the younger children‘s groups, a large meeting room for staff members, further flexibly usable group rooms, the urgently needed storage areas for various materials, as well as a second staircase connection between all floors of the building.
The entire heightening is covered by perforated and multiple-edged sheet steel in dark grey. Due to the vertical, irregular folding of the industrial material, - when viewed from the inside-, the shell almost has the appearance of a slightly falling textile curtain. The exterior walls of the plastered old building are painted in the same dark grey colour. In addition, since some recessed wall reliefs remain untreated, the different time layers of the building components are clearly visible, showing that the colourfulness of the building clearly forms a great and whole.
Material Used :
1. Element hall system: DOMICO Dach, Wand- und Fassadensysteme KG
2. Facade: VMZINC
3. Chairs: L&C stendahl, ENEA
4. Accoustic ceiling: Heradesign
5. Window and door handles: Glutz